Newfoundland government launches seal hunt website

Monday, March 26, 2007

Map of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced, March 23, 2007, the launch of a new website to counter "misinformation about the sealing industry that is put in the public domain by international animal rights organizations."

Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Tom Rideout, stated, "The sealing industry Web site is a key part of government’s plan to correct the misinformation on this all important industry. It will provide easy access to factual information on the Newfoundland and Labrador sealing industry to Internet users all over the world."

The annual seal hunt in Canada is a source of controversy and ignites protest worldwide. Opponents of the harvest attempt to observe the hunt each year and stage protests in cities throughout the world. Boycotts of Canadian seal products and seafood have been called for.

"It is critical the public has easy access to factual information on the sealing industry," said Rideout. "There is a lot of misinformation in the public domain and the groups that are spreading the misinformation have a strong Web presence. In order to effectively counter this information, it is important that government has a strong presence as well."

The website contains information on the history of the sealing industry, its economic importance, and utilization of the animal, once harvested.

In addition to the website, the government will send a delegation of individuals to Europe on March 25 to meet with European parliamentarians and media regarding the seal hunt. The delegation will travel to Brussels, London, Berlin and The Hague.